It will soon be the one year anniversary of the iPad which has most observers expecting that its successor might be shipping soon, but Bloomberg is reporting that it is delayed until June.
The reason for the delay is a “production bottleneck” in the factory that actually produces the iPad in China. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. is apparently unable to hit a Spring ship date because Apple made design changes. The report cites Vincent Chen from Yuanta Securities Co. as saying the changes came late and as a result there are “… new issues being encountered with the new production and it is taking time to resolve them.”
Calling this a delay is a bit of a misnomer as no one at Apple has officially said the iPad 2 would be coming one year after Apple’s initial lauch of the iPad. However, the company has a history of refreshing products one year after they launch. Annual refreshes are a tradition with Apple. March, give or take a few weeks, is the time for major MacBook Pro refreshes. June/July is when we normally see new iPhones. September/October is the traditional time for iPod updates. Since the iPad initially launched in March, we expected a March/April date.
If the iPad does not ship till June, could this possibly throw off the iPhone time? Would Apple want to launch two major updates to two of its most popular products black-to-back? With the Verizon iPhone 4 release just weeks ago, there might be an incentive to delay that normal release cycle so as not to step on this release.
At this point this is all just speculation. There is no official word from Apple one way or another about the new iPad. There have been a slew of rumors about its makeup. It should have a camera and probably two, both on the front and back. It is likely going to be slightly thinner, lighter and have better speakers. It might include a higher resolution screen. It will almost certainly have a faster processor and could include more memory as well.
If Apple does experience a delay, this could help Android tablets compete.